Two people have been arrested in relation to the theft of a car belonging to a family of German tourists.

The Schwarz family had their New Zealand holiday take a turn for the worse last weekend when their car and belongings were stolen.

The family was shocked when they then came across a woman allegedly selling their things on the side of the road the next day - but they were unable to track down the rest of their luggage.

In a lucky twist of fate Elke and her three sons, Robin, Marius and Lukas, came across their blue Honda Odyssey abandoned on Beresford St around 3.30pm.


The car, which Robin Schwarz had bought to use over a five-month stay in the country, had been left with a smashed window and the headlights left on.

Inspector Ben Offner, of the Auckland Police, confirmed they had arrested two people late last week in relation to the theft of the Schwarz's vehicle.

"A 37-year-old male and a 27-year-old female have both been charged with unlawful taking and theft," he said.

"We've forensically examined the vehicle and returned it to the family," he said.

The pair had appeared in court, Offner said, and were due to re-appear next month.

They both faced charges of unlawfully taking a vehicle and theft.

Robin Schwarz and his family were now in possession of their passports though some of their luggage was still outstanding.

"Most of it has been recovered - there were a couple of bags that had been dumped," Offner said.


"I think there were still a couple of laptops and a tablet that were missing."

Robin Schwarz said he was looking forward to getting his car back so that he could leave Auckland.

It had been a traumatic few days for the family, since returning to a central Auckland Wilson carpark on Saturday evening to find their car had been stolen.

Robin Schwarz said a man who was also in the carpark called Wilson on their behalf.

"He talked with them and then said to us, 'the Wilson employee said that he can't help'."

Disheartened and helpless without their luggage or passports with which to board their flight the next night, the family filed a police report about the theft.

The next day, Elke Schwarz and the boys headed into the city for food but were shocked to find a silver car parked outside their Queen St backpackers with three women sitting inside - one of whom appeared to be selling clothes to passers-by from one of the family's missing bags.

Schwarz said she stormed over to the car and saw a child in the car was wearing her youngest son's jeans and one of her shirts.

Schwarz confronted the woman and tried to wrestle the suitcase from her but the woman fought back, claiming she had found the suitcase on the street.

Offner said the woman the family came across selling their possessions on the side of the road was not facing any charges in relation to the theft.

"It appears she found some of the abandoned luggage and was trying to sell them to make some money."

Elke, Marius and Lukas flew back to Germany last Wednesday, but Robin was planning on staying in the country for another few months.

Police advice on deterring thieves from targeting your car:
• Always lock your car and take your keys with you
o You would be amazed how many cars are left unlocked or with keys left in a "hiding place"
• Try not to leave valuables in your car.
o Thieves will break into a car for loose change
• If you have to leave valuables in your car, put them out of view, lock them in your boot, place under your seat, take them with you.
o Best to take them with you though…
o Tourist suitcases in clear view are just an invitation…
• Park your car in a street with pedestrian traffic rather than hide it away.
• Install a kill switch in the car or an alarm.
Source: NZ Police